Austal, the acclaimed shipbuilding firm, has unveiled its sixth enhanced Cape-class patrol boat, titled “Austal Hull 816”, for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). This took place at the Austal shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia, marking a significant milestone in the vessel’s 12-month construction timeline. Interestingly, this launch comes barely a quarter year after the fifth evolved Cape-class patrol boat (ECCPB), the future ADV Cape Woolamai, was launched in February 2023.
The newly launched patrol boat, a 58-metre aluminium monohull, is the sixth in a series of eight that the Royal Australian Navy is set to receive.
The company has a track record of delivering four previous ECCPBs namely, ADV Cape Otway, ADV Cape Peron, ADV Cape Naturaliste, and ADV Cape Capricorn, which were handed over in March, August, and November 2022, and February 2023, respectively.
These vessels play a pivotal role in Australia’s border security, executing various critical functions, such as combating human, drug, and arms smuggling, detaining illegal fishing boats, conducting surveillance for information and intelligence, overseeing environmental pollution, and assisting in the administration of offshore nature reserves and marine parks.
In a recap of Austal’s contribution to the Royal Australian Navy, it was awarded a contract back in December 2015 to construct two Cape-class patrol boats (Austal hulls 380, 381) at their shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.